I analyzed the regiment's muster rolls and searched--page by page--through the 1860 Census Records, trying to link a soldier's muster roll information with their census records. Of the 1,861 soldiers who served for a time in the 48th, I was able to link, with absolute certainty, 657 soldiers. I was a little disappointed the number was so low, but still I believe it to be a good, representative sample.
Here are some of the things I discovered. . .
*The average age of the soldier in the 48th Pennsylvania was 24.95 years. The regiment's officers, when the 48th was first mustered, averaged 29.2 years of age.
*27.5% of the 48th's soldiers were listed as Heads of Households in the 1860 Census Records; 16.4% were boarders, residing with non-relatives, while the majority, 56.1%, lived with their parents or other relatives of the same surname.
*27.1% of the regiment was married in 1860, which is nearly identical to the percentage of heads of households; 72.9%, as far as I was able to determine, was single, or not married. 89% of the married men were also fathers. Of the 48th's deserters, 35% were married.
*70.9% of the regiment was born in the United States, while the remaining 29.1% were foreign-born. Of those foreign-born, 36.1% were born in Ireland; 31.4% were born in England and Wales; 17.9% were born in Germany; while 7.9% were born in Scotland. Here's an interesting stat: of those soldiers who served as substitutes, 59.4% were immigrants, while 50% of those men who were drafted/conscripted into the regiment were of foreign-birth.
*69.5% of the regiment's soldiers hailed from the coal mining towns and townships of Schuylkill County; the remaining 30.5% resided in the county's agricultural areas. It is interesting to note that of those soldiers who died of disease throughout the war, 40% hailed from these more rural, farming districts.
*The average total wealth of the soldiers, which includes both real estate and personal property valuations, was $916.95. The officers' average wealth was substantially higher, at $3,166.85. On the other hand, the average total wealth of those soldiers of the regiment who deserted was $408.77.
*Going hand-in-hand with wealth was a soldier's pre-war occupation. In the 48th, 32.1% of the soldiers were unskilled laborers (including coal miners, coal laborers, and day laborers). 22.5% of the regiment were skilled laborers (carpenters, tinsmiths, wheelwrights, printers, tanners, cabinetmakers, shoemakers, etc). Farmers constituted 15.8% of the regiment, while 13.5% were students. 10.8% of the regiment held "Professional," or white-collar positions (i.e. engineers, attorneys, teachers, clerks, etc).
Lieutenant Thomas Bohannon/Captain William Winlack/Lieutenant Joseph Fisher
Co. E, 48th PennsylvaniaSome interesting numbers that help us further discover a little bit more about the Civil War soldier. . .